Fast-track dieting can be successful long-term

People who lose weight quickly are no more likely to pile the kilos back on than dieters who lose them slowly, according to a new study. Weight-loss guidelines have long counselled that kilos shed too quickly are likelier to creep back than those lost at a slower pace. But a new Australian study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, found that over the long term, fast-track and slow-track dieters were equally likely to regain most of the weight they lost.

Research led by Joseph Proietto of the University of Melbourne divided 204 obese men and women into two groups. One group entered a weight-loss programme of 12 weeks, the other a more gradual 36 weeks. The 12-week group were restricted to a diet of 450-800 calories per day, while the other group had their energy intake reduced by about 500 calories per day. Those who lost 12.5 per cent or more of their bodyweight from both groups were then placed on a three-year maintenance diet. By the end of the trial, individuals in both groups had regained some 71 per cent on average of the kilos they had shed.

“By contrast with the widely-held belief that weight lost rapidly is more quickly regained, our findings show that regain is similar after gradual or rapid weight loss,” the team says. Dieters are generally told that a weight loss of no more than 500 grams per week is best. “Our data should guide committees that develop clinical guidelines for the management of obesity to change their advice,” they add. Via Fast-track dieting can be successful long-term

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